Pakistani Taliban Targets Security Forces in NW Border Regions

Amid Afghan Peace Process, Pakistani Taliban Looks to Revitalize Itself

With the Afghanistan Taliban working hard on a peace deal and coexistence in Afghanistan, their Pakistani counterparts have been struggling to find a new lease on life. For years the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been active in Pakistan’s tribal areas, engaged several times in major fights for control of the area.

This summer, the TTP has been trying to recover its sway with a growing number of attacks targeting security forces. They had launched attacks at a growing rate since March, but things really picked up pace in July when they allied with several smaller tribal factions.

Through September, officials say there have been attacks against government forces and collaborators, almost every day. There still aren’t huge death tolls, with officials saying about 40 troops were killed since March,

For the TTP, retaining influence in the tribal areas has often meant commanding loyalty from the bigger tribes. In those cases, the Pakistani security forces are loathe to take action, because a tribe can dominate an entire tribal agency.

Virtually everyone in tribal areas has access to assault weapons, and are loyal to tribe first, not nation. This is why those areas still enjoy broad autonomy, that the government’s paramilitary forces don’t dare kick off full-fledged wars against them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.